Walking and running are popular ways to get a great cardiovascular workout, but how do they compare with each other? In a new study, researchers analyzed the health of about 48,000 runners and walkers and found that, mile for mile, brisk walking lowered the risk for diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure just as well as running did. However, the researchers note that you need to spend double the time walking that you do running to obtain the same health benefits. American Heart Association, May 2017
How Often Do Children Have Back Pain?
Spinal pain is a common condition among children and adolescents. In this study, researchers monitored school children ages eight to fifteen for three years and found 55% experienced one or more episodes of back pain during that time. Though most children had only a few short-lasting episodes of spinal pain, more than one out of five children had three or more episodes during each study year, and 17% of all episodes lasted for more than a month. The investigators note the study demonstrates that spinal pain is a substantial problem among children, and further research is needed to determine preventive measures and management. Chiropractors are trained to evaluate and treat children with musculoskeletal pain. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, March 2017
Meditation May Improve Focus Among Those with Anxiety.
Mindful meditation is the practice of focusing one’s awareness on their body, breath, or sensations, or whatever arises in each moment. In a new study involving 82 patients with anxiety, researchers found that just ten minutes of mindful meditation helped participants stay better focused on their daily tasks. Researcher Dr. Mengran Xu adds, “Our results indicate that mindfulness training may have protective effects on mind wandering for anxious individuals.” Consciousness and Cognition, May 2017
Cinnamon May Reduce Dangers of a High-Fat Diet.
A high-fat diet is considered a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease because it can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and other harmful conditions. However, a new animal study suggests that is may be possible to offset the risks of a high-fat diet with cinnamon. Researchers found that rats fed a high-fat diet supplemented with cinnamon for three months gained less weight and abdominal fat and had healthier blood levels of fat, sugar, and insulin than rats fed a high-fat diet without cinnamon. American Heart Association, May 2017
Breast-Feeding Good for Baby’s Belly.
Mothers are often told that breast-feeding is the best method of providing nourishment for a newborn. Now, a new study has found that breast-feeding helps plant good bacteria in the baby’s digestive system. Researchers assessed 107 breast-feeding mother-infant pairs and found that 30% of the beneficial bacteria in a baby’s intestinal tract came from their mother’s milk. Senior study author Dr. Grace Aldrovandi notes, “Breast milk is this amazing liquid that, through millions of years of evolution, has evolved to make babies healthy, particularly their immune systems… Our research identifies a new mechanism that contributes to building stronger, healthier babies.” American Medical Association, May 2017
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